overnight and this morning kept us on course. Dropped off this afternoon, so
motorsailing with the jib furled and a couple of reefs in the main to ease its
flogging. Seas still confused but slightly calmer
all last night, weaved our way through blotch after blotch on the radar (guess
there's a more technical term for the "blotches" on the radar that indicate
rain??) but clear skies and sunshine today.
Of course I
meant Aviary, not Avery, the post before last - don't use spell check late at
night without glasses on!
It's been an
ornithologist's dream onboard the last few days. The different species that have
joined us number more than a dozen. Even a pidgeon dropped in today, complete
with leg-tags. Evan was last seen fattening him up for dinner. The "Hitchhiker"
bird (the white craney thing) has been renamed the "Murder Bird". It pounced on
a tired migrating swallow, killed it, then spent an hour or so breaking its
bones until it could fit it in its mouth. I have previously mentioned that any
migrating birds that land don't last the night - Darwin never intended these to
breed. But still, there are better ways to go. Anyway, the Murder Bird has been
hussled off the boat, now that it's eating, it leaves more solid remnants on the
sunset, we started the Inaugral El Oro Knot Tying Guild
there is in fact an International Knots Tyers Guild (google them), who hold
competitions every so often which is a time-trial to tie the 6 basic ship's
knots (bowline, reef, clove hitch, round turn and two half hitches, figure 8,
sheet bend). As memory serves, the unofficial record is around 4 seconds to tie
all 6 knots. The holder is long passed, but his daughter recalls, as a kid, that
her father practiced all the time. While dinner was being prep'ed he'd have his
6 cords draped over the back of a chair, lift one tie a knot, drop it, lift the
next etc. She remembers he was doing it so fast that two cords would still be in
the air while he's tying the third knot!
Back to our
humble inaugral event - I was seeing far too many non-knots (or as I call them
NASA Knots because they need a team of NASA scientists to untie them) around the
boat, so time to ensure that the crew, and certainly the cadets, know what
are knots and how to tie them.
(Evan grew up
on a classic Fife schooner - Sunshine - from the 18th Century, so he does have a
few knots not commonly seen).
started today checking that everyone could tie the six knots, a brief practice
session, then each was timed to tie all six. Results varied from 1-2 minutes.
There's now 24 hrs to practice, then tomorrow sunset is the finals, each will
get two timed goes, fastest to count. Quickest overall will be the Inaugral
El Oro Knot Tying Guild Champion. (I didn't have a time trial today because (1)
I know how to tie the knots, and (2) after nearly 50 yrs I don't think another
24 hrs will improve my speed at this).
Expect to get
into the trade wind band sometime through the night. Current forecast has it at
20-25kn and just aft-a-beam. Looking forward to that!